Israel to reduce electricity supplied to Gaza at Abbas’ request


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Security Cabinet agreed to reduce the amount of electricity Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas said he would reduce the amount of money the PA pays to Israel to supply the electricity, Haaretz reported.

Abbas reportedly made the decision in order to put pressure on Hamas in Gaza.

During the Security Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Herzi Halevi and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Yoav Mordechai described a worsening economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza, and said that military commanders believe that further reductions in the electricity supply to Gaza are likely to hasten escalation in violence, Haaretz reported, citing an unnamed Israeli official familiar with the issue who was present at the meeting.

The army officials at the meeting did not advise any leniency for Hamas, the source told Haaretz.

The amount of electricity delivered is expected to be cut by some 40 percent, which is the amount of the payment that Abbas says will be cut.